Ownership Profile - Argus
Waiuku Harness racing owners and breeders Janet and Peter Argus have an addiction.
It’s an ownership addiction they picked up through a friend, and now sees them booking a trip to Addington to see their horse Double Rocket start in the New Zealand Derby.
“It was our association and great friendship with Charlie Hadley that got us involved in ownership and we then became addicted to it,” explained Janet.
The couple first started out in 2002 when they purchased a horse from the sales with their friends, and as luck would have it turned that first horse turned out to be Revagain.
Revagain would win two races, but also placed second in the Yearlings Sales Open and third in the Northern Derby and Sires Stakes Final as a three-year-old. In just 19 career starts he earned a whopping $99,000 in stakes.
And the successful ownership journey would not end there for the couple.
They’ve had success along the way with the likes of Ideal Success (9 NZ wins), Wingsonhai (7 wins), Alotbettor (3 wins in NZ), Mass Destruction (5 wins in NZ) and Inflight (1 start 1 win in NZ).
And most recently wins with Double Rocket (trained by Arna Donnelly has 4 wins to date) and Massive Metro (trained by Michelle Wallis and Bernie Hackett has 9 wins to date).
During their time in ownership they have had association with Brent, Sue and Arna Donnelly, Michelle Wallis and Bernie Hackett and also Kerryn Manning when their horses headed to Melbourne for racing opportunities.
Their journey has also presented many opportunities to get away and enjoy racing holidays. With trips south to Addington, long weekend trips to grass track meetings and also trips to Melbourne to watch their horses compete.
The emotional rollercoaster of ownership and breeding has seen their horses compete in all levels of races and the feeling of watching their own horse compete never changes.
“We still get nervous watching our horses race, whether it is a race on the grass or in a group race,” said Peter.
Their highlights as owners are varied, being associated with so many fond moments and horses.
“All of our horses have been special but we would have to say our extra special one would be our first winner, Revagain.“
“Also Ideal Success winning seven Country Cups along the way and Alotbettor being our first horse we bred, and is still winning races in the States, are horses we have fond memories of.” said Janet.
“Massive Metro winning the Group One National Trot and the Greenlane Cup this season was also a huge thrill for us.”
The couple also had a remarkable experience when they won three races in one day at Hawera in February 2015.
“We had Alotbettor win, Ideal Success win the Cup and then Jagermeister won the main trot. What an amazing day that was,” Janet said.
Another highlight may not be far away with their exciting prospect Double Rocket, who has headed south to chase Group One glory in this Friday's New Zealand Derby.
“Double Rocket is so exciting winning four races already and we are planning our next trip to watch him race in the New Zealand Derby,” said Peter.
Double Rocket is trained by Arna Donnelly, and the Argus’s first met Arna through her father Brent in 2009.
“Our first win with Arna was with Gregan Galleon which we leased and we continued to have a huge amount of success, luck and fun since then,” explained Janet. “We would take shares in many horses that Arna leased having so much fun along the way and then that led to us purchasing some at the yearling and weanling sales.”
“We’d also like to commend Arna on the way she treats us as onwers. Her communication is awesome – ringing, texting and always sending photos.”
“She sends a monthly newsletter to us which is amazing and always involves us in discussions and makes us feel more involved. Her great communication is really important to us,” said Peter.
During their time as owners they have experienced many thrills, but have also gained invaluable friendship.
They encourage others who are thinking about becoming owners to take the plunge, especially with the affordable options and smaller shares that are avaialable.
“Getting shares in a horse is a great way to go as you can have an interest in more horses which means more fun. And you also get the chance to meet other owners making more friends.”
“I would definitely recommend getting into ownership,” said Janet. “You cannot buy the thrills you can get or the amazing friends we have made.”
For more information on how you can get involved in ownership, please contact Jess Smith at Harness Racing New Zealand – [email protected]